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Subject: Playtest Exchange Group rss

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Craig M
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A few folks at Reddit indicated they might be interested in a playtest exchange group with a formalised point system - points would be earned for helping, and spent on getting help.

I have set up a Slack group with this in mind. I already have one editor who announced himself at Reddit as being happy to go over rules free of charge.

To see if the concept has momentum, I will only be dealing with rules critiques initially. Playtesting on TTS or PnP would be added as soon as the group has critical mass, if it gets that far.

Further down the track, I could move it to a dedicated website.

The general idea, for now, would be that you join, critique a couple of sets of rules, then get your own rules critiqued by a couple of others. That is, do two, get two.

The first few who join would only need to do one critique to get two.

Happy to hear any and all views on this. I have nothing invested in it, but I think it could be useful for some of us.

EDIT: To join, send me a PM with your email address.
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Matt Knaack
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Would love to be part of this. Can you PM me?
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Craig M
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PM sent... The more the merrier.
 
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Kai Scheuer
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There is a whole forum full of designers seeking DESPERATELY for playtesters:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/forum/1530034/boardgamegeek/se...

Why not start there?



Kind regards,
Kai
 
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Craig M
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Because there is a whole forum of designers desperately seeking playtesters...
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Craig M
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Sorry, that was unfairly cryptic. What I mean is, that forum has lots of sad posts by hopeful designers, getting very few replies, and most of us who started there have pretty much given up on it. It gets the initial visit from the designer, before they get discouraged, and maybe they drop in every month or so to see if a miracle has occurred, but overall it is largely dead.

But this forum actually has some traffic, and includes all the designers who posted at the "Seeking Playtesters" forum.

And for now I am actually only swapping rules critiques.

[EDIT: By "why didn't you start there", I wasn't sure if you meant post this suggestion there, or just hop in and submit rules and PnP files there. From your later comment, it sounds like you meant the latter. I think that forum is a poor venue for what I have in mind.]

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Kai Scheuer
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But what is the point of outsourcing the issue to reddit?

Why separate the designers from their players?

Why can't we invite those reddit users to here, where they are needed?
Where the designers are "at home", with their WIP threads, with their design threads, with their links to a 'geek entry?

In my eyes that process would be more successfull or at least does it make more sense ...



Kind regards,
Kai
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Craig M
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It has nothing to do with Reddit, except I happened to mention it there first. None of it would be conducted in Reddit. Many of us flit between the different domains, along with BGDF... I will probably mention it in BGDF later, if it has enough momentum, but I am checking out what interest there is here at BGG before deciding whether to run with it.

If you are saying, why not actually conduct the exercise in the moribund BGG Seeking Playtesters thread, then it is because it would be impossible to keep track of the membership, the points, the files, and so on, in among all the other stuff.

EDIT. The long term plan would be to migrate it to a different website if there is enough interest. If there is not enough interest, no problem. If the BGG admin wanted to set up an area within BGG where this could be conducted, that would be fine by me, but the space provided would need to be decluttered, there would have to be a way of loading rules, submitting critiques, and so on, and access would have to be limited to those who showed significant commitment. Personally, I can't see that happening within BGG or Reddit. If someone thinks it can be done here at BGG, and wants to set all that up, then I have no argument - I will join, and let someone else worry about the logistics.
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Charles Ward
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I hear you both, and I have had mixed experiences on the Seeking Play-testers Thread. It wold be more appropriate to have a Seeking Game To Playtest subforum. Testes want to play or get involved with something they might like, so I think it would be helpful to do it that way. Designers can then pitch the tester their ideas, what they want from the tester, etc.

I have seen posts like this "I have a group and would be happy to play test some games, got any?" and all you get is designers pitching their game and no response from the playtester. Not sure to who I am even sharing my work with. Feels kind of risky sometimes, sort of like "I'm a game company looking for some ideas to make my own, got any?"

I also like the idea of an organized dedicated system. How much can you meddle with BGG. I know how to code stuff, there must be an API for BGG, right?
 
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Tiarnan Murphy
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I love the idea, but it seems like it might be difficult to implement.

If you do manage to get things off the ground I'd love to participate
 
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Craig M
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Hi there... Please send me your email address by PM, and I will invite you to the Slack group. The first few to join have it easy, as we need some rules to critique to get the points to get the whole engine rolling.

Within Slack, there is a channel called #rules. Post a link to your rules there. I'll add more channels later. Or, if you have no rules ready for critiquing, read the rules already posted there. (They're not mine, but another new member's).

When we have more members, I will formalise things and set up a bit of structure.
 
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Charles Ward
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Matsumoto
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How do I join?
 
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Tiarnan Murphy
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ex1st wrote:
Feels kind of risky sometimes, sort of like "I'm a game company looking for some ideas to make my own, got any?

I understand this sentiment, but it sort of rings of the paranoia that I've seen discouraged so many times on BGG.
Unfortunately if a game is never shared with anybody it will only suffer for it.

Besides, I think a much easier way for them (assuming that there really is a "them" in the first place) to steal ideas would be to just browse through all of the WIPs on the site. No fishing required.
 
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Morgan Swiers
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PM me please. I enjoy reading/helping with rules and wouldn't mind someone taking a look at my own.
 
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Craig M
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ex1st wrote:
How do I join?

For you, and others wanting to join, please send me your email address by PM, and then I can enter it into Slack so you get an invite from Slack.

Slack works best if you download the app, but it also has a web interface.


 
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Craig M
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We have about 7 members now... More are welcome.

Just a quick reminder that, after this initial phase, new members will be expected to critique existing member's rules before getting their own critiqued.
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Craig M
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Hi there,

We now have 12 members, which is enough to give the system a good test. The first set of rules to be critiqued has had several designers look over it and give comments, and playtesting is about to begin. The focus will move to two new rule sets this week.

New members are welcome, but they will have to earn admission by critiquing the rules of existing members. This will give the new members points in the bank, which can then be spent of rules critiques or playtests.

In most cases, playtesting would be done using an online mechanism, such as Vassal or Tabletop Simulator. (Or, in my case, I am using a play-by-email approach, via Slack.)
 
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Craig M
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Just a quick update. This group is up and running, and seems to be functioning well. Lots of work is being done, rules are being updated, and a couple of games are being ported to TTS, ready for playtest sessions.

New members are welcome. You just need a rough rule set and a readiness to help.
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lucia radici
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Hi everyone!
Is it possible to joimn the group?
I don't mind reading game rules (I love it actually...) and I have something to playtest too
 
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Craig M
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Yeah, everyone is welcome... Just be warned that it is built on the idea of putting in some effort for the community upfront, which gives you points to spend on your own playtests and rule critiques.

It would be nice if we didn't need a formal system, I know. And a point system cannot force people to be helpful... But, the points remind everyone that they cannot expect something for nothing.

Send me your email address.
 
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